Wednesday, September 8, 2010

RE: Why we need authority control

Posting to Autocat

On Tue, 7 Sep 2010 17:22:09 -0400, Brenndorfer, Thomas wrote:
>There is one aspect in these RDA examples from JSC that I find particularly interesting with regard to how our record structures have been rooted in the past:
>
>http://www.rda-jsc.org/docs/6JSC_RDA_Complete_Examples_(Bibliographic)_revised.pdf
>
>To indicate the primary relationship between the work and the manifestation, there is a field for the controlled access point for the work, derived from RDA 17.8, with the footnote "No equivalent encoding in MARC21." The first example is "17.8. Work manifested. Munro, Alice, 1931- . Lives of girls and women"
>
>The absence of this kind of field I noted in many OPACs with hyperlinks to related works-- there is no hyperlink usually from the 1XX + 245 fields, which is the combination we use to otherwise indicate the heading for the work entity as organized in a card catalog, or single entry listing.
>
>At the Library of Congress catalog, http://catalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=First, the "Author/Created Sorted by Title Browse" is the closest match to the card catalog display. In some respects, because variant titles from see references in authorities are also interfiled, this is also the closest to the IMDB display of showing variant titles of films together with the "authorized" titles in a result list. But the Library of Congress display for author/title is a little awkward to use, and does not adequately reflect the nature of the relationships between works, expressions and manifestations.
>
>The key point here, especially with the example from the JSC examples for RDA, is that our records are rooted in a card catalog era that have not allowed for the future flexibility of online displays.
I see it more that our present records and rules are designed for a printed environment (not just cards), and this requires *different types of pre-coordinated browsing*, name headings, subject headings, corporate body subdivisions, and the rules still show this, e.g. the number of cross-references for multiple surnames, rules for subject subdivision order, etc. Most of the time this browsing was alphabetical (at least in the U.S.), but I think it's time to admit that the new keyword environment is not conducive to the traditional sorts of browsing.

You mentioned that:
<snip>
The absence of this kind of field I noted in many OPACs with hyperlinks to related works-- there is no hyperlink usually from the 1XX + 245 fields, which is the combination we use to otherwise indicate the heading for the work entity as organized in a card catalog, or single entry listing.
</snip>

This is a very simple programming problem to have the catalog search both with the 1xx and 240 when there is a presence of a 240. I have always wondered why they made the uniform title as they do in the bibliographic file with a 1xx/240 combination, but in the authority file, they put it all together (as it should be):
100 10 |a Shakespeare, William, |d 1564-1616. |t Hamlet. |l Italian. |k Selections
I don't know. This question has come up before, but I don't remember how or if it was answered. I imagine that when they created MARC, they must have had problems with online displays back then and had no choice except to split the string, but I may be wrong.

While I agree that:
<snip>
The key point here, especially with the example from the JSC examples for RDA, is that our records are rooted in a card catalog era that have not allowed for the future flexibility of online displays.
</snip>

I don't think we need RDA/FRBR structures to achieve these novel displays, since the modern formats such as XML are so much more flexible. In any case, any online displays we consider must come from an analysis of what appeals to users and what they need from our records, probably involving a certain amount of trial and error, and not from theory. The FRBR displays I have seen that show the work, expressions, manifestations, items are certainly not the answer to our patrons' prayers.

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